Over the Easter weekend I had the pleasure of relaxing and reading a periodical with a feature about a map collector. I was intrigued learning how important maps are to our society and the stories gleaned from what is now considered art. My thoughts gravitated to my experiences with maps and how the use of maps have changed in our society.
As a young Officer Candidate earning my commission, I had to learn map reading and land navigation. In addition to the classroom portion being educated about saddles, ridges and the like; we were required to put our knowledge to practicum in the field. Both day and night land navigation using a compass in conjunction with a topographical map to find designated points for a go/no go. A no go meant retraining and retesting of the course…a second failure was immediate removal from Officers Candidate School. To tell you how times have changed; my son graduated from Army Infantry training now too long ago…map reading? Nah; GPS. My thoughts here are that if a leader cant read a map and know where they are going, how can they possibly lead others? Have you ever worked for someone that never took “map reading” much less actually tried to traverse successfully through the “forest?”
I remember taking family trips and looking at the map for the route to our destination. Interesting, my dad would let me “navigate” although we were traveling up or down I-95 and getting lost was not much of a possibility. However, I have a distinct memory of tracking the exits and trying to know exactly where we were and estimating the that we would arrive at our destination. Today? GPS is on the car, the mobile phone and tablet all telling the techy inhabitants of my car all they need to know about our location…but. I’m the Dad….we’re still not stopping.
We have become a society in some cases blindly reliant on technology and tossing aside what history has taught us in the past. Basically; do a little homework.and take a look for yourself, on any subject. The longer I live the more intrigued I am to witness so many traveling to nowhere, all so busy, and just accepting the direction from the digital source as gospel. Does the GPS in our phones and such have a reverse? I mean…it tells us where to go…but not where we came from. Sometimes that’s pretty important information.
From my experience I believe that reading the map prior to taking a journey and using GPS is a good idea. Don’t think so? For a laugh take a look at the video below. Cheers y’all!